General News

4th of July 2014 Events in Pinellas county!


  • 4th of July Celebration Downtown Gulfport Friday, July 4 at 8 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. The day’s festivities kick off with the Kid’s Fishing Derby at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the day with a sand sculpture contest from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., local vendors offering crafts and food, live music starting at 5 p.m., the community parade beginning at 6 p.m. and the fireworks display off Gulfport Beach at 9:15 p.m.
  • Fourth of July Spa Beach, 615 Second Avenue N, St. Petersburg Friday, July 4 at 9 p.m. Fireworks are set to go off at 9 p.m. They can be seen from most of the city’s waterfront parks.  Admission is free.
  • Largo Fourth of July Celebration Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo Friday, July 4 at 6 p.m. Largo will “Light Up the Park” with this free festival, including a DJ, activities, food vendors and fireworks. Limited $5 parking is available.
  • Rockin’ Red Glare Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Boulevard, Treasure Island Friday, July 4 at 9 p.m. Bring your beach chairs and blankets and enjoy a massive fireworks show on the beach.
  • It’s a Freedom Thing Archibald Park, 15100 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach Friday, July 4 at 5 p.m. The party also celebrates the grand opening of the renovated Snack Shack with food, drinks and live music by Horses Wild.  Fireworks close out the celebration at 9 p.m.
  • Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks Friday, July 4 at 8:30 a.m. Gulf Beaches Historical Museum, 115 10th Ave., St. Pete Beach Children are encouraged to decorate their bicycles and ride in an old-fashioned flag-wavin parade. Afterwards, a treasure hunt will be held among the museum’s exhibits.  The city will host its annual fireworks display, launched from Upham Beach at 9 p.m.

REF: Event information obtained from

4 Reasons to vote “YES” on ammendment 4

#1 – It protects YOU from rising property taxes

Did you know that under Florida property tax law, your property tax bill can go up, even if the value of your home goes down? It’s true. Every year your home’s taxable value is re-assessed. That value can increase by as much as 3% every year, and that affects how much you pay in property taxes, even if your millage rate doesn’t change.

But what if the real value of your home stays the same, or even goes down? Shouldn’t your assessed value go in the same direction? Not as the law is written. Even if your home’s value goes down, your assessed value can still increase by up to three percent. That’s right – your millage rate can stay the same or even go down – and your property tax bill will still go up.

It’s called recapture, and it’s an unfair tax trap that Amendment 4 will allow the legislature to do away with if supported by the people of Florida. It’s just the right thing to do, and it’s one way we can help many Floridians keep more of their precious assets.

 #2 – It helps small businesses and renters

Do you own a small business? Do you have a second property that you rent out to a family or local business? Are you a renter?  Then you know all about the taxes you pay without a homestead exemption.  (Yes renters, you pay it too – your landlords pass it on in your rent.) Under current laws, your assessed property value can go up by as much as 10% each year!

Amendment 4 helps non-homestead property owners by lowering that cap to 5% rather than 10%. The result will be lower property taxes over time, and a more predictable property tax environment for businesses.

That’s great for Floridians who are already getting their assets taxed off, and it can help attract more investment in vacant properties that were sold off during the recession. That will help boost property values and attract more jobs and prosperity to our state at a time when we need more of both.

 #3 – It will encourage first-time homebuyers

Maybe you’re looking to buy your first home on your own or with your spouse. Or maybe you and your family had to sell your old home and rent for a while because your mortgage and property taxes got too costly in the recession. Or maybe you lost your job and needed to downsize.

After a few very tough years here, Florida’s housing market is a much friendlier place for first-time homebuyers. But SPRS is the threatening condition that could keep all of that from happening. After all, nobody who has dealt with a recession like the one Florida has faced would want to buy a new home, only to get their assets taxed off – again.

So Amendment 4 takes a key step to address SPRS here as well. Under Amendment 4, any Floridian who has never had a homestead exemption, or who has not claimed an exemption in the last three years can receive an additional homestead exemption of half your home’s value up to $150,000 or half the median home price in the county you live. And that property tax exemption can stay in place for up to five years. This will mean serious tax relief for any Floridians looking to get on their without having to worry about getting their assets taxed off.

#4 – It will create jobs and stimulate the economy

According to a Taxwatch study, Amendment 4 will create nearly 20,000 new jobs, over 315,000 home sales more than would have otherwise occurred AND add nearly $5.3 billion dollars to the personal income of Florida residents.  What more do you need to know?


Buyers: It’s time to commit

FROM KRISTIN: This article is so true!  There are a lot of buyer’s out there. Inventory is less. There is more competition when putting offers in quite often there are multiple offers. If you see a new property come on the market that you like you better not wait  until the weekend to see it because it will probably be under contract by then providing that it is not outrageously over priced. If you are thinking of buying property in this area do not wait! Need financing? Gather those last 2 years of tax returns and w/2’s or 1099’s, at least 2 recent pay stubs and  take advantage. Get that pre approval letter in hand to submit with  offers! Yes I am saying offers because there are multiple offer situations out there and you may go through a few offers that you don’t get before you get one under contract.  Take advantage of this awesome buyers market!  Contact me and I will put you in touch with one of my preferred lenders if you don’t have one. Paying cash? Call me to discuss a proof of funds letter that you will need to submit with offers.

DIRECT: 727-286-0082

Read article below from and listen to the radio link from a top radio show ( Real Estate Today)

WASHINGTON – April 20, 2012 – It’s an old investment adage that remains true: “Buy low, sell high.”

National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Moe Veissi, who served as Florida Realtors president in 2002, explains why conditions have never been better to buy a home in an online radio interview.

The Real Estate Today interview can also be forwarded through Facebook and Twitter to friends, family and clients.

Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc. in Miami, says today’s real estate market has “less folks looking, less inventory and more contracts working. … We’re just now seeing appreciation in real estate prices in some areas of the country. … This is a wonderful time to take advantage of interest rates that are lower than they’ve ever been.”

Veissi quotes investor Warren Buffet’s outlook on the current real estate market: “Warren Buffet appeared on CNBC about two weeks ago, and the young lady that was interviewing him asked where you should invest your money. Warren said, ‘If I had the capabilities, I’d buy 200,000 homes across this county … I think that housing in America today will outstrip the investment capabilities of the Wall Street blue chips over the longer term.”

To hear the five-minute radio interview and forward to friends and clients, visit the Real Estate Today website at:


HUD: Can’t Deny a mortgage based on pregnancy

Interesting article for those of you planning to buy a house or refinance and will be going on maternity leave. 


The settlement agreement signed by Magna Bank requires the bank to pay one woman $14,085 for allegedly requiring her to return to work before her loan application could be approved. In another settlement agreement, Home Loan Center, Inc., agreed to pay a Las Vegas woman $15,000 for denying her application to refinance her mortgage because she was on maternity leave.  Read entire article in the link below from

Photographer: Kim Collins, St. Petersburg, FL,  —- Yes this is me in the photo and we were in the middle of buying a house while I was pregnant.

Family Fun at the Illuminated Night Parade tonight 3/22 at 7:30pm in downtown St. Pete!

Dear  Friends in the Local St. Pete area,

In the City of St. Pete and surrounding areas you have to admit that there is ALWAYS something going on that you can do for fun. With that being said I wanted to inform everyone of the illuminated night parade located in downtown St. Pete tonight. Attached is a link to information about the event and parking. My family and I have been to this parade for the past 3 years and it is really fun! Hope to see you there!

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” recently that he’d “buy up a couple hundred thousand” single-family homes if it was practical.

I hate when Real Estate Professionals don’t post pictures on listings!

I have to say that as a Realtor it is very annoying to see no pictures of the inside of a home,  aerial photo only, small pictures, blurry pictures, pictures that were not sized right so you can barely see them, not enough information on the MLS about the property. I don’t care how bad the house looks. You can put 12 pictures on the MLS to market a property!!! USE ALL 12! If you want someone to buy it they need to see what it looks like. Even on a personal level when I was looking for a home. I don’t have time to go see every single property out there that doesn’t include enough pictures on the MLS. Ultimatley it raises the question, does the home have problems? Is it really ugly? I have talked to other Real Estate Professionals to ask them what the inside of the home looks like (because they didn’t post pictures) and there have even been instances where they said “oh it shows nice” it is updated this and that… Well, than where are the pictures? If you can’t do it then pay someone to go do it for you.  Thank you Florida for bringing up this article.

Rate on 30-year FRM stays at record 3.87%


Check out this article from Florida . The rate on the 30-year loan was unchanged at 3.87 percent. That’s the lowest level on records dating back to the 1950s!!!

Florida State Fair starts Thursday, Feb. 9th at 8am and ends on Feb. 20th!

Hey everyone! Fun things will be going on at the Florida State Fair! Click the link below for details and even some tips to save money at the fair.


More deals falling through…

Great article about appraisal’s coming in lower than the agreed upon contract price. This situation just happened to my buyers but luckily another appraisal was ordered for good reason and it came back at the right amount… We are on our way to a smoooooth closing! Good thing because there lease is up March 1st! Phew…

I would also like to  add a compliment to a good friend of mine who is the loan officer in this transaction…

Patrick Anderson, Senior Loan Officer

Residential Finance Corporation

4010 Boyscout Blvd. Ste. 600

Tampa, FL 33607

800-930-7334 ext. 1323



Article Courtesy of: Source: “Real Estate: A Buy or Bust This Spring Selling Season?” Investor’s Business Daily (Feb. 2, 2012) and Realtor Magazine Daily News